D K Ravi death probe: Did the CBI make up excuses?
The death of IAS officer D K Ravi had created a furore and today with the CBI stating that it would want the state of Karnataka to issue a fresh order without conditions only makes one ask the question, " is the CBI really interested in probing the case of not.
IAS officer D K Ravi was found dead in his apartment last month and the Bengaluru police had concluded it was a case of suicide due to personal reasons. However the opposition did not buy the story and called it death due to foul play while making a demand for a CBI probe. [D K Ravi death: Conditions by Karnataka govt irk CBI, fresh order to be issued]
The state government gave in and order a CBI probe but also said that it shall complete the investigations in three months. After almost two weeks, the CBI has now stated that it cannot complete the probe in three months and a fresh order needs to be issued by the state without any pre-conditions.
Is the CBI interested at all in probing the case?
After the state had issued the order a little over two weeks back, it took another week for the order to officially reach the Home Ministry in New Delhi. Following this an interim team of three was set up in Chenni which houses the homicide wing of the CBI. [Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah orders CBI probe into DK Ravi's death]
A few officers from Chennai visited Bengaluru and did a reality check on the case. They spoke to several persons associated with a probe. This is a common practice by the CBI before it writes back to the Home Ministry whether the case has merit or not.
The CBI being India's premier investigating body cannot take up any case which is suggested by politicians since it does have a reputation to guard in the international arena since it also deals directly with the Interpol.
During the checks that the CBI did there was increasing evidence on hand to show that this case relating to D K Ravi was death due to suicide in the wake of personal reasons. However the agency did not conclude anything and felt that it needed more time to look into the case.
Delay is always condonable in law
When a government-centre or state, High Court and Supreme Court issues an order directing a CBI probe, it normally fixes a time frame. This is done more out of a confidence building measure to tell the public that it wants a speedy probe into any case.
No law book however states that the CBI will be prosecuted if it does not complete a probe in the time stipulated in the order. There have been a host of cases including the ongoing Saradha scam case where the CBI with valid reasons has sought for an extension in time.
Moreover the Code of Criminal Procedure also very clearly states that in any probe time by an investigating agency can be sought. Moreover the CrPC also gives investigators the option to seek extension of time while filing a chargesheet. While it also states that if a chargesheet is not filed in 90 days the accused is entitled for bail, it also states that an interim chargesheet can be filed and a final one at a later date.
CBI had rejected probe in nun rape case
It was only recently that the CBI had rejected the probe into the nun rape case at West Bengal. In this case Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal had ordered a CBI probe.
However for a considerable amount of time, the CBI had not taken over the probe. It was the West Bengal unit of the CBI which was keeping a watch on the investigations while the CID probed the matter.
However later it was reported to the Union Home Ministry that the case was being handled well by the CID and any interference would create unwanted confusion.
In the D K Ravi case hours after the CBI sought for a fresh order, the state government has already issued a fresh notification. This notification would once again go up to the Home Ministry which would in turn direct the CBI to commence the probe, once again if it finds that the case is worthy of a CBI probe.